DUP MP goads Sinn Fein over Tory pact as Stormont talks on knife-edge
A DUP MP last night mocked Sinn Fein over the £1.5bn deal between his party and the Conservatives as the future of the power sharing executive at Stormont hangs in the balance.
Unionist firebrand Gregory Campbell took to Facebook to claim the cash was the “one thing that has been achieved by the taking of seats in Westminster” - which Sinn Fein famously refuse to do.
And as the crisis in Belfast comes to a head, he asked whether the Tories would choose how the cash is spent through direct rule or the Northern Ireland executive.
Theresa May yesterday agreed a deal with the unionists to hand over £1bn to the region during the next two years in exchange for support in the Commons on key votes from the 10 DUP MPs.
A further £500m of existing spending will meanwhile be freed for Stormont to spend as it chooses.
But to allocate the money the Northern Irish parliament must break the deadlock it has suffered since March - when the power sharing agreement broke down over a botched energy scheme.
The deadline for a deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein is Thursday. If no agreement is reached Westminster will impose direct rule.
Mr Campbell posted a photo of a pound coin on his Facebook page with the Queen’s head showing, and told Sinn Fein it was “your call” who would decide how the cash is spent.
“Before the Election [Sinn Fein] repeatedly tried to defend their abstentionist policy by asking ‘Name one thing that has been achieved by the taking of seats in Westminster?’,” he said.
“Up to 1.5 billion extra of these, that's what. If they don't get it I'll spell it out v e r r y s l o w l y........
“Up to ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED MILLION POUNDS EXTRA. Now, do the 'nasty Tories' through Direct Rule caused by you SF, decide how to spend this, or do we? Your call.”
But Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams last night warned that the Tory-DUP pact could wreck the Good Friday Agreement.
He said the agreement would lead to "continued Tory austerity and cuts to public services" and provided a “blank cheque” for a Tory Brexit.